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KFC to face class action over rest break allegations

Shine Lawyers has launched a class action against fast food giant KFC over an alleged lack of rest breaks for employees.

user iconNaomi Neilson 26 October 2023 Big Law
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Tens of thousands of former and current staff members of KFC did not receive 10-minute breaks, a joint investigation by Shine and Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) allegedly uncovered.

Vicky Antzoulatos, Shine’s joint head of class actions, said this was potentially a “complete failure” by KFC to protect staff.

“Our claim is likely to allege that vulnerable workers were not provided the rest breaks they were entitled to.


“Many of these workers were just kids facing tough working conditions, who would not have had the confidence or knowledge to speak up and demand the breaks they were owed,” she said.

Josh Cullinan, RAFFWU secretary, said the “missing ingredient” in KFC’s recipe was rest, adding it is “unacceptable that a global franchise has had complete disregard to the welfare of its workers”.

Former staff member Lily O’Sullivan, who has registered her interest in the KFC class action, said she remembered raising the issue of a 10-minute break with her boss at the time and was told they “don’t have them here”.

“It was shut down so swiftly that after chatting to colleagues, I quickly realised it wasn’t something I could ask for again,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

McDonald’s is facing similar allegations, with competing proceedings having alleged the major fast-food retailer failed to give its own staff a paid 10-minute break when working a shift of four hours or more.

The McDonald’s allegations have a long history in the courts but have been stalled a number of times due to a competition between Shine Lawyers’ class action and 16 separate proceedings brought by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).

Ms Antzoulatos said the firm was looking forward to progressing the McDonald’s class action “for the thousands of group members we represent”.

The firm has also called for KFC staff who worked at a restaurant from October 2017 to come forward as they may be eligible to take part.